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University of Utah Physics Students Win National Recognition

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The U’s Student-Led Physical Sciences Organization is Honored with Award from the National Office of the Society of Physics Students as an Outstanding Chapter

Recently, the University of Utah chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) won an Outstanding Chapter Award from the SPS National Office. This is the third year in a row the chapter has been recognized for its excellence as a top-tier student-led physical sciences organization, a designation given to fewer than 10% of all SPS chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and internationally.

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a professional association designed for students and membership is open to anyone interested in physics and related fields. SPS operates within the American Institute of Physics (AIP), an umbrella organization for professional physical science societies.

“The 2019-2020 officers of the U’s SPS chapter worked very hard to ensure the chapter’s continuing reputation for excellence and professionalism, especially since 2020 has been such a challenging year due to the pandemic,” said Cyri Dixon, the chapter advisor. Tobin Wainer, the former communications director said, “Receiving this award and recognition is very gratifying and a testament to the other officers, their work, and leadership. We’re very glad we could bring this award to our chapter and the Physics Department.”

The SPS chapter at University of Utah is advised by Cyri Dixon and Dr. Anil Seth and is led by student officers. The 2020-2021 officers are:

  • Luis Rufino, Physics ‘22, President
  • Mario Homer, Physics and Applied Math ‘22, Vice President
  • Vivek Vankayalapati, Physics ‘22, Treasurer
  • Marcus Tanner, Physics ‘24, Outreach
  • Sasha Singh, Computer Science ‘22, Outreach
  • Bryant Nielsen, Physics and Applied Math ‘22, Historian
  • Ian Wixom, Applied Math and International Studies ‘22, Communications
  • Caroline Castleton, Physics ‘23, Inclusion

 SPS chapters are evaluated on their level of interaction with the campus community, the professional physics community, the public, and with SPS national programs. The Outstanding Chapter Award recognizes high levels of outreach as well as unique approaches to fulfilling the mission of SPS to “help students transform themselves into contributing members of the professional community.” 

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Last Updated: 12/15/20